Chances for Ivies, especially Brown

Hey guys I’m really interested in Brown, maybe the other Ivies, so chance me please!
Race- white
Dual citizenship with Italy, US citizen/resident
GPA- currently 4.3 Weighted, not weighted 3.8
ACT- 35
Class rank- probably top 10%
Italian Subject SAT- 770
APs- probably 9

Course load (just honors/AP): I’m taking almost the most rigorous courses possible

AP: World History, Psych, Lang. & Comp, Bio, US Hist, Euro, Environmental, Lit, and French
Honors: Chem, French (4 yrs), US History, Calc

National French Exam- Silver Award: won Sophomore year 2015, one of 2 people to win it
High Honor role- all of HS
AP Scholar
Maybe more but im just a Junior!

Sports: JV Tennis 2 years, Varsity Tennis 2 years (Captain next year), JV Golf 1 year

Leadership: started the Animal Rights club (president of it too for 2 years), got a grant of $4,000 am leading a project on Healthy Eating for it in my school district

Volunteer: Pony Power Therapies (Soph year 25 hrs), I help kids with disabilities (Soph-Senior, 20 hrs), my grant project also gives me hours (at least 30, Junior year)

Recommendation Letters: one 10/10, the others im guessing 7-9/10

Additional Info:
I’m bilingual (Italian and English) and will do a gap year to be a foreign exchange student in Italy as a 5th year of HS.
I am interested in Majoring in Psych, Italian Studies, or History
I am also interested in Bryn Mawr, William and Mary, Amherst, and Vassar if you could chance me for those schools as well.


Hard to say for brown. Your stats are good enough but not overwhelming. Nice ECs it will depend on your essays and how you complete your app. Bryan Mawr and William and Mary I’m pretty sure you will get in. Amherst and Vassar same answer as Brown. D had 36 ACT also 3.8 uw gpa like you last year. Was waitlisted by Vassar and rejected by both Brown and Amherst.

Thanks for the feedback!

@Wje9164be If you don’t mind my asking, were your daughter’s Ecs and academic record similar to mine? Also, which schools did she get into and where did she decide to go?

I’d say your ECs are stronger but her curriculum was stronger, about balanced. She is going to Notre Dame. She got into William and Mary, Illinois (in state), u.wisconsin, Kenyon, George Washington, Maryland, Cwru and three others I don’t remember. Waitlisted at u.chicago, Williams, and Vassar. Rejected at Yale, Stanford (rea), brown, Princeton, Georgetown, and Harvard. In hindsight her high school was probably not on these colleges radar screen (large Chicago suburban public) and her essays/application were not as strong as they could have been. She kind of hit a wall with admission and great merit aid at safety and target schools and rejection or at best waitlisted at all reaches

I think it’ll really come down to your essays. What makes you unique? What’s a topic that you, and nobody else in the world, can write about? You have an interesting angle being Italian and American – use that.

Honestly, at the level of Brown, most applicants will be academically qualified for the Ivy League. You certainly are (although if you have time, I’d throw in one or two more subject tests; getting a high score in a native language isn’t that impressive). What it eventually comes down to is how you portray yourself. Why are you different? What do you bring to the table? Don’t forget that admission is a two-way street: you want to get into Brown for x number of reasons, but Brown wants students that will fill their niches too. So what niche can you fill?

It also may be good to “stretch” a little in your favor. You said you were maybe interested in Italian Studies – that’s probably not a super popular major, but coming from your background, it makes sense. You basically are trying to convey a story with your application, and I think that if you talked about your Italian background, then tied it in with why you want to major in Italian Studies, it will show a cohesive picture (even if in the end you major in something different). Basically, your ECs, classes, background, etc. should all tie back to one central “thing.” For you, it could be your cultural background.

This next part is anecdotal: I got into an Ivy League with not much more than good stats and a story. I had a couple leadership things, some volunteering, good recs (I assume)… But it all comes down to those essays in the end. I made sure to share a unique story in my Common App essay, and then in my supplement (for Penn) I connected my story to why Penn was the perfect fit for me. You’re lucky: Brown has more supplements, so that’s more room for you to show who you are. You’re also unlucky: Brown’s supplements are short and difficult to answer well. When you write your supplements, make sure to convey why Brown isn’t just a good school for you – it’s the ONLY school for you. What about Brown can you literally not get anywhere else? And don’t rely on the cliche of Brown’s open curriculum, if possible. Everyone writes about that. For me for example, at Penn, they have special programs that aren’t offered at any other university, through the Kelly Writers House. Since I like writing (and my ECs showed this), I made sure to mention the Writers House. Brown probably has similar stuff for whatever you’re interested in, so make sure to mention those (but be genuine, obviously). The supplements are always going to be the most important essay for any school.

That’s all the advice I can think of right now. Good luck!

@BabylonBabylon Wow thank you so much for that very descriptive answer! I completely agree with you and have had the same thought of using my Italian cultural background as a major theme in my essay and application.